FINDLAY, Ohio — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has chosen 14 teens and young adults from across the country as ambassadors for its Tread Wisely vehicle safety program for teens and young adults.
Cooper teamed up with the National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS) to appoint the student ambassadors, who will spread tire safety knowledge to their peers through grassroots efforts. Students chosen as ambassadors for the 2017-18 term are:
- Crystal Battaille of Miami and a student at South Broward High School. She participates in the Human Relations and Technology Club, Community Emergency Response Team and serves as a teachers' aide.
- Thomas (Tommy) Brennan of Howell, N.J., and student at Colts Neck High School, who is active as a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), the Police Athletic League and Junior State of America.
- Tamia Catoe of Laurel, Md., and a student at Howard Community College in Columbia, Md. She takes an active role in church, enjoys spending time at Star Studio dance facility in Laurel and has served as a volunteer for the NOYS Youth Interactive Traffic Safety Lab.
- Craig Collins of Cookeville, Tenn., and a student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He is active in student government and is an executive member of Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee.
- Christian Davell of Kettering, Ohio, and graduate of Kettering Fairmont High School. He is an active member of the Kettering Arts Council and the Driving School Association of the Americas.
- Bryan Delaney of Easthampton, Mass., and a student at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., active in NOYS, where he has served as an intern supporting Tread Wisely, as well as SADD. He has also served as an intern for the In One Instant Teen Safe Driving Program.
- Shelby Griffith of Maysville, Ky., and is enrolled at Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio. She has been involved in the Georgetown High School FFA chapter as well as the Brown County 4-H CARTEENS vehicular safety program.
- Izabella (Izzy) Lileas of Lordstown, Ohio, where she is a senior at Lordstown High School/Trumbull Career and Technical Center. She is a member of the Lordstown High School basketball team and the Business Professionals of America (BPA).
- Chantalle Lopez of Phoenix and is a senior at University High School, Tolleson, Ariz. She is an active member of Future Business Leaders of America, dance team and Model United Nations.
- Spencer Mercado of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and a student at Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. He is a past member of BPA and has interests in social media and photography.
- Andre Ragel of Lowell, Mass., and a student at Lowell High School. He is a member of student council, BPA and has been a NOYS youth correspondent.
- Juan (JJ) Salazar of Mission, Texas, and student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He is a member of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, BPA and SADD.
- Julia Schemmer of Norco, Calif., and a student at the University of California, Riverside. She is active in student government, serves as a contributing writer to the school newspaper and is a member of Hillel International.
- Annika Sidhu of Prior Lake, Minn., studying at North Dakota State University in Fargo, where she takes part in University Chamber Singers, Phi Eta Sigma honor society and serves as a resident assistant.
Ambassadors will encourage young drivers to activate their clubs, schools and organizations to take part in the Tread Wisely Challenge.
The challenge is a national, youth-led effort to educate teens and young adults about tire safety and three simple monthly tire checks: inflation pressure, tread depth and overall tire condition. Participants can earn up to $500 in cash or prizes for their school, club or organization by hosting an approved Tread Wisely Challenge event and reporting the results.
To share the Tread Wisely Challenge and tire safety knowledge with their peers, ambassadors will travel to youth conferences across the country, including:
- DECA National Conference, April 26-29, Anaheim, Calif.;
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America, May 10-12, Dallas;
- BPA National Leadership Conference, May 10-14, Orlando, Fla.;
- SADD National Conference, June 25-28, Tampa, Fla.;
- FBLA National Conference, June 29-July 2, Anaheim;
- NOYS Youth Interactive Traffic Safety Lab, Oct. 16, in Washington; and
- National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct. 25-28, in Indianapolis.
"Cooper is excited to have these outstanding young people representing Tread Wisely and sharing the three important monthly tire checks — inflation pressure, tread depth and overall tire condition — with their peers," a company spokeswoman said in a statement.
"Tread Wisely was developed to speak to young drivers through channels they use, and this peer-to-peer interaction will enhance this effort," she said. "We are excited to see the impact this group will make in spreading Tread Wisely from coast to coast across the country."